P5.5-trillion savings seen from energy-efficiency policy

By  Lenie Lectura – September 13, 2017

from Business Mirror

As much as P5.5 trillion in electricity cost savings can be realized over the next 12 years from the proposed energy-efficiency and conservation policy.

Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Comm ittee on Energy, said power consumers could collectively enjoy between P1.6 trillion to P5.5 trillion in savings from 2018 to 2030 because of reduced energy demand and consumption resulting from the efficient use of energy.

“Energy-efficiency and conservation strategies will not only achieve much-needed savings for the government, but can also significantly bring down the prices of electricity and give consumers extra money in their pockets to spend for other basic necessities,” Gatchalian told members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines. The cost of power in the country remains expensive. As such, Gatchalian strongly urged the government “to rethink and overhaul its energy source priorities and look into energy efficiency and conservation” to bring down the cost of electricity.

“Experts have been busy finding additional and alternative sources of energy to ensure a stable power supply in the three major islands of our country. What we need to do now is to refocus and seriously look into energy-efficiency and conservation as a more effective strategy,” he added, as he pressed anew for the establishment of a comprehensive energy efficiency and conservation policy framework to secure viable and affordable power nationwide.

Gatchalian said energy efficiency can lead to a total of P1.6 trillion in savings from 2018 to 2030, or an average of P126.4 billion annually, if the Philippines becomes half as energy efficient as Germany, which is among the world’s top energy-efficient countries. On the other hand, savings can go as high as P5.5 trillion, or P420 billion yearly, if the Philippines fully meets the German efficiency standard.

These savings would stem from lower electricity demand under the proposed national energy-efficiency and consumption policy—down to 22,589 megawatts (MW), or even 10,836 MW, at 50-percent and 100-percent Germany-like efficiency, respectively.

The lawmaker said this would result in actual electricity consumption of as low as 454 kilowatt hours per capita by 2030, less than half of the projected per-capita consumption mark under existing efficiency standards. Lower power demand would then result in avoided additional generation capacity, estimated at 5,771 MW from 2018 to 2030 in the 50-percent German energy-efficiency scenario, and 17,524 MW at 100 percent.

Aside from electricity cost savings, Gatchalian said energy efficiency would also result in reduced dependency on foreign coal, avoiding as much as 290.2 million metric tons of imports over the 12-year period. This would result in average annual savings of $392 million to $1.3 billion between 2018 to 2030 at the 50-percent and 100-percent efficiency standard, respectively.

Gatchalian acknowledged that the government needs to shell out funding for the development and utilization of energy-efficient technologies and structures.

Assuming that the average cost of energy efficiency in the Philippines is similar to the United States, Gatchalian said the total cost from 2018 to 2030 will reach P419.9 billion at a 50-percent efficient scenario, or P1.39 trillion to be as efficient as Germany.